Blood

So What About Caligula? How Do You Know HE Existed!?

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N.T. Wright: “Jesus is as well established as a figure of history as is, say, the emperor Caligula, his near-contemporary.”

 

Don't make me laugh.  

 

Good takedown from Carrier:

 

https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/14117

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I used to have to deal with this kind of BS all the time as a mod for DM Murdock. This was going on 10 years ago. Claim after claim about Jesus being on par with all these other historical figures. Then easily debunking those claims one after the next. Putting up check lists that show historical evidence for these other figures, which Jesus simply doesn't have. It's odd that Wright is still trying to make these claims, seeing as how thoroughly they've been debunked by so many people, for so long now. 

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Suppose we grant the point. Jesus and Caligula both existed. Turns out Caligula thought he was God too. Where does that leave us?

 

The whole issue of trying to establish an historical Jesus is just a dodge on the part of apologists. Even if Jesus existed, it does not follow in any way that he was anything other than a moderately crazy preacher.

I'm not an historian. I don't know if there was an actual Jesus or not. It doesn't matter. Real or not, there's no historical reason to think he rose from the dead. So much for Christianity.

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     If Caligula doesn't exist then what?  Are we expected to suddenly stop living by some rules and standards set forth by him and his followers?  Oh, wait.

 

     Disprove everyone in history.  Makes no difference in this sense because the vast majority of them don't have followers that are trying to bend the world to their vision.  The ones that do don't really like this proposition.

 

     But if they want to believe that there's the same amount of actual, contemporary evidence, for their man as there was/is for a Roman Emperor then, well, we do know the power of faith now don't we?

 

          mwc

 

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1 hour ago, disillusioned said:

Suppose we grant the point. Jesus and Caligula both existed. Turns out Caligula thought he was God too. Where does that leave us?

 

The whole issue of trying to establish an historical Jesus is just a dodge on the part of apologists. Even if Jesus existed, it does not follow in any way that he was anything other than a moderately crazy preacher.

I'm not an historian. I don't know if there was an actual Jesus or not. It doesn't matter. Real or not, there's no historical reason to think he rose from the dead. So much for Christianity.

 

 

As a Christian the idea of a historical Jesus use to give me so much joy because "even the Satan-worshiping, heathen, college professors have to admit Jesus was real.  That really was the way I thought about it and I'm sure that is how all of my extended family who are Christians still think about it.

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Back in the 80's and 90's I had no idea whatsoever that Jesus' life wasn't thoroughly documented, that were no surviving court records from either the Jews or Romans, or that no contemporary historians wrote anything about his existence. I just assumed all these things were a given. And had no idea that for the last 200 years or so, his historicity has been in question. By the 2,000's it was spreading like wild fire. Now, it's hard to find anyone that hasn't heard of the argument. 

 

That's progress in my view.

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3 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

I used to have to deal with this kind of BS all the time as a mod for DM Murdock. This was going on 10 years ago. Claim after claim about Jesus being on par with all these other historical figures. Then easily debunking those claims one after the next. Putting up check lists that show historical evidence for these other figures, which Jesus simply doesn't have. It's odd that Wright is still trying to make these claims, seeing as how thoroughly they've been debunked by so many people, for so long now. 

 

Everything about Christianity has been debunked a million times since 100 CE. It all rolls like water off a duck's back. 

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56 minutes ago, mymistake said:

 

 

As a Christian the idea of a historical Jesus use to give me so much joy because "even the Satan-worshiping, heathen, college professors have to admit Jesus was real.  That really was the way I thought about it and I'm sure that is how all of my extended family who are Christians still think about it.

 

It's terrifying to think that people still think like this today. We really do have lizard brains. The only miracle is we haven't eradicated ourselves (yet) by our own ignorance and stupidity. 

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8 hours ago, Blood said:

 

Everything about Christianity has been debunked a million times since 100 CE. It all rolls like water off a duck's back. 

 

I guess it's sort of like a scenario where if scientology went through the world Hollywood elite, then the elite in general. During this time it would be criticized by skeptics. But it's 'water off a ducks back' to believers. Then, if it gained more traction and found itself being used as a tool by a future theocratic government, it would become increasingly wide spread. If the critics were eventually silenced, by force, all that would remain would be things like this dialogue with Trypho the Jew supposedly rebutting skeptics of the day. And in an even more distance future, if scientology came up under question and people began looking back at the history and trying to piece together what really happened, these are the traces they'd be left with. 

 

For the believers, there would be struggle. They would hear others talking about how scientology is wrong, make believe, not true, and rebutted from the beginning, but until that reality fully digested they'd be inclined to getting sucked back into the belief for various reasons. Such as a longing to believe the myth for comforts sake. Meanwhile, it was never right to begin with. It was always wrong. And people knew that right from the beginning, despite it going around the world, becoming a theocratic focus, and shaping the west in specific ways over long periods of time. 

 

I think it's good to look at a parallel example of blatant BS and how the water off a duck's back, turning a blind eye reaction squares with the reality of the situation. This was made up. Like scientology was made up. It can never, no matter how hard anyone tries, be anything other than a made up set of stories that have no real basis in reality. What's obvious when looking at scientology ought to be just as obvious when looking at christianity. I think of things like this when I see new members coming here torn about leaving christianity and going on emotional roller coasters between up and down. The bottom line is that these roller coasters have squarely to do with wanting to believe something that was never right to begin with.....

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Thinking that you know something other human beings do not know (or cannot appreciate) is one of the most powerful emotions a human can have. We all aspire toward expertise in some subject. When you combine this with one of the other powerful emotions -- tribalism -- you have the most potent social force man is capable of. 

 

Bible believers, Jihadists, Scientologists, UFO cults all operate under the same conditions. When personal empowerment (only believers know "the truth") becomes wedded to group empowerment (us against the world), anything is possible, but any of it that gets translated into social good is strictly a by-product. 

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59 minutes ago, Blood said:

Thinking that you know something other human beings do not know (or cannot appreciate) is one of the most powerful emotions a human can have. We all aspire toward expertise in some subject. When you combine this with one of the other powerful emotions -- tribalism -- you have the most potent social force man is capable of. 

 

Bible believers, Jihadists, Scientologists, UFO cults all operate under the same conditions. When personal empowerment (only believers know "the truth") becomes wedded to group empowerment (us against the world), anything is possible, but any of it that gets translated into social good is strictly a by-product. 

 

And the negative aspects out weigh whatever charitable or other "works" they may do. It's a way of being completely narcissistic and trying to call attention to good deeds as if they excuse the lying, cheating, self serving aspects of the delusional belief system. It was like that from the very beginning when we analyze what we know of christian roots. Claim to be good, act like a bunch of assholes. I don't see any time in history when that wasn't the case. And of course it explains a lot of the assholes we encounter in the churches now. That essentially IS christianity. 

 

 

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2 hours ago, Joshpantera said:

 

And the negative aspects out weigh whatever charitable or other "works" they may do. It's a way of being completely narcissistic and trying to call attention to good deeds as if they excuse the lying, cheating, self serving aspects of the delusional belief system. It was like that from the very beginning when we analyze what we know of christian roots. Claim to be good, act like a bunch of assholes. I don't see any time in history when that wasn't the case. And of course it explains a lot of the assholes we encounter in the churches now. That essentially IS christianity. 

 

 

 

Right. They have to lie to themselves first. Then the lie becomes inculcated as a defense mechanism. Claiming to be a Christian gives them their get out of jail free card and license to be a full-time asshole. 

 

This behavioral instinct is undoubtedly pre-historic. It isn't unique to Christians. 

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9 hours ago, Blood said:

 

Right. They have to lie to themselves first. Then the lie becomes inculcated as a defense mechanism. Claiming to be a Christian gives them their get out of jail free card and license to be a full-time asshole. 

 

This behavioral instinct is undoubtedly pre-historic. It isn't unique to Christians. 

 

This sounds harsh, yes. But deconverts need to face some of these issues as part of digesting the over all landscape of christianity and leaving it behind. Hopefully some our new members will read through and wrestle with these allegations in their own minds. Are they reverse-able? Can anyone debunk this sentiment? Anyone is welcome to try. 

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These sorts of claims work well with most believers who take religious leaders at their word and don't bother checking anything out.

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On 5/31/2018 at 5:02 PM, Blood said:

N.T. Wright: “Jesus is as well established as a figure of history as is, say, the emperor Caligula, his near-contemporary.”

 

Don't make me laugh.  

 

Good takedown from Carrier:

 

https://www.richardcarrier.info/archives/14117

 

Great article! Thanks for sharing.

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